March 17, 2022 6 min read

New CAPE Parking Lot Insights Help Reduce Commercial Underwriting Expenses

Written By CAPE Analytics

New Paved Area Deterioration and Paved Area Illumination attributes provide commercial insurance carriers and MGAs with new insights into how a property’s broader lot condition can affect risk.

Often thought of as secondary to the characteristics of a commercial property’s structures, parking lot and paved area condition can offer insights into the potential risks of the property as a whole. Parking lots are an important area where liability risk meets property risk.

Liability claims and crime can, directly and indirectly, originate from paved surfaces in bad condition and missing or insufficient lighting. Directly, poor parking lot conditions can lead to slip, trip, and fall accidents. Indirectly, poor conditions can indicate an overall lack of maintenance or safety standards. With these concerns in mind, CAPE’s Parking Lot Condition feature can be used to reduce underwriting costs by triaging inspections for both commercial and habitational properties upfront.

Commercial and habitational properties, in particular, have a higher level of risk for slip-and-fall claims due to their elevated level of foot traffic at all hours of the day. Falls are listed as the leading preventable nonfatal injury by the National Safety Council, accounting for 32% of such injuries.

Poor lighting can also open up the properties to liabilities stemming from criminal activity. In 2020, the FBI reported that 13.2% of all property crime incidents and 8.4% of violent crime incidents took place in parking lots or garages. The Urban Institute Justice Policy Center also notes that large parking facilities, parking facilities in urban areas, and surface lots with several pedestrian access points and inadequate lighting are the most prone to car crimes.

Commercial insurance underwriters can now look to CAPE’s new Parking Lot Deterioration and Illumination attributes to give them a more complete picture of the current status of the property and its associated risks.


CAPE Parking Lot Condition

Previously, CAPE has been able to detect, among other valuable insights, both the size of a property and the area of a property that is covered by structures. Now, CAPE’s ability to detect the paved area of a property has led to the creation of two attributes that provide an enhanced understanding of a property’s overall condition.

CAPE’s Parking Lot Condition feature can be used to reduce underwriting costs by triaging inspections for both commercial and habitational properties upfront.


Paved Area Deterioration

Parking lot deterioration is visualized using a heat map that shows the severity (where red is more severe).

The condition of a property’s parking lot surface provides a general indication of the overall level of property upkeep or neglect, which may suggest other risks are present. Poor pavement condition contributes to the risk of trip-and-fall claims and can accumulate snow and ice in cold-weather areas.

Using CAPE’s computer vision and machine learning AI on aerial imagery, the Paved Area Deterioration attribute classifies the paved area of the property and the extent of cracking within that area. Paved Area Deterioration, in combination with our Roof Condition Rating (RCR) and Lot Debris attribute, can provide a better indication of property upkeep.


Paved Area Illumination

The illuminated area of the parking lot is visualized with a heat map around the light poles, where brighter indicates better lighting.

Simply put, inadequate lighting makes it difficult to see. Dark conditions can amplify the risk of trip-and-fall injuries and on-premises crime.

The Paved Area Illumination attribute detects light poles in order to identify a parking lot’s lighting coverage. Within our Commercial Lines App, a heat map visualization is created to provide an underwriter with a visual representation of lighting levels and uniformity.  Paved Area Illumination, when combined with our lot debris detection, can be even more indicative of the likelihood of property crime.

Taken together, these new commercial property intelligence features provide underwriters with more holistic COPE assessments upfront, can be used to optimize manual review cycles and direct surveys, and can even be used as flags for carriers building more automated approaches.  


Interested in learning more about how CAPE is powering next-level results for commercial underwriters? Check out our latest commercial insights here.






Insights derived from Nearmap and other imagery providers.